Tasmanian election endgame

A down-to-the-wire preference count in Braddon adds yet more interest to the Tasmanian election result.

Click here for full display of Tasmanian first preference results.


Craig Garland has won the final seat in Braddon reasonably comfortably with 7861 votes after preferences, or 11.1% of the total, to fourth Liberal Giovanna Simpson on 6481, or 9.1%. So the Liberals emerge with 14 seats against ten for Labor, five for the Greens, three for the Jacqui Lambie Network and three independents, which will leave the Liberals relying on both the Jacqui Lambie Network and at least one independent, none of whom are natural ideological allies, to keep the show on the road.


The odds on independent Craig Garland reducing the Liberals to 14 seats by winning the last seat in Braddon continue to shorten. As things presently stand, three seats remain to be decided between six candidates left in the count. One is certain to go to Labor’s Shane Broad, who is 67 votes short of a quota, and another to Miriam Beswick of the Jacqui Lambie Network, who will be elected when party colleague James Redgrave is excluded, the two between them having 917 votes to spare over a quota. Darren Briggs of the Greens, presently on 4901 votes, will then go out. With the distribution of these preferences, Garland will need to close a gap of 5870 to 5479 against the remaining Liberal, Giovanna Simpson. The assessment of Antony Green is that “there are certain to be enough preferences for Garland to gain the required votes to pass Simpson”.


The Tasmanian Electoral Commission is now at a fairly advanced stage of conducting its preference distributions, results for which it unusually reports progressively rather than having a computerised system that calculates it all in one hit. These can be found only on the TEC’s site – the numbers shown on my own results facility, linked to above, are finalised first preferences.

This process has made the result look still more interesting, shortening the odds on the Liberals finishing with 14 seats rather than the generally anticipated 15, with Labor on ten, the Greens on five, the Jacqui Lambie Network on three and two independents. In doubt is one seat in Braddon that could either go to a fourth Liberal, which would get them to 15, or Craig Garland, putting independents at three. What follows is my summary of the situation in each of the five divisions, listed this time in order of interest rather than alphabetically.

Braddon. My assessment shortly after the election was that the Liberals would win four, Labor two and the Jacqui Lambie Network one, “barring some impressive preference-gathering from independent Craig Garland on 0.40 quotas or a late-count surprise for the Greens on 0.52”, potentially reducing the Liberals to three and making the parliament yet more unpredictable. The progress of the count so far has shortened the odds on the first of these scenarios coming to pass, with Garland enjoying such strong preferences from Shooters and leakage from excluded Greens candidates that Antony Green now rates him “favoured to win”.

Garland was outpolled by the collective Greens ticket by 4728 to 3637, but now leads the only Greens candidate remaining in the race by 5118 to 4632. With two Liberals elected and two excluded, their three remaining candidates have a combined 14834, 8875 of which will be used to elect Roger Jaensch, leaving 5959 to spare, some of which will leak when the next Liberal is excluded. Garland, meanwhile, should be further boosted as the one Greens and two Labor candidates are excluded.

What is clear in Braddon is that Liberal incumbents Jeremy Rockliff, Felix Ellis and Roger Jaensch will be returned (the first two having already done so) and incumbents Anita Dow and Shane Broad will win the two Labor seats. None of the three JLN candidates has been excluded yet, but it is clear that Craig Cutts soon will be. His preferences will decide the winner between Miriam Beswick on 3612 and James Redgrave on 3325. Based on the JLN’s form elsewhere, it would be unusual for these preferences to overturn an existing lead.

Bass. It is clear the result here will be three Liberal (Michael Ferguson, Rob Fairs and one to be determined), two Labor (Michelle O’Byrne and Janie Finlay), one Greens (Cecily Rosol) and one Jacqui Lambie Network (to be determined). The front-runners for the third Liberal seat are incumbent Simon Wood and Julie Sladden. Preferences so far have favoured Wood, who has added 1457 to a primary vote of 1949 to reach 3406, over Sladden, who has added 930 to 1747 to reach 2677, and will presumably continue to do so. Similarly, in the race for the Jacqui Lambie Network seat, first preference leader Rebekah Pentland has added 1165 to 2409 to reach 3574 while Angela Armstrong has added 1057 to 2033 to reach 3090, which probably leaves Portland home and hosed.

Clark. My post-election assessment was that Labor had a chance of winning a third seat at the expense of either independent incumbent Kristie Johnston or second Greens contender Helen Burnet, but I may have been out on a limb even then. It now appears clear that the result will be Labor two (incumbent Ella Haddad and former upper house member Josh Willie), Liberal two (incumbents Simon Behrakis and Madeleine Ogilvie, the latter seeing off a threat from Liberal rival Marcus Vermey on preferences), Greens two (incumbent Vica Bayley and the aforementioned Helen Burnet) and independents one (Kristie Johnston).

Lyons. As seemed likely from the beginning, the result here is three Liberal (incumbents Guy Barnett and Mark Shelton and former upper house member Jane Howlett), two Labor (Rebecca White and Jen Butler), Greens one (Tabatha Badger) and Jacqui Lambie Network one (preferences for the first excluded Lesley Pyecroft seemingly deciding the result for Andrew Jenner over Troy Pfitzner, the two having been closely matched on first preferences).

Franklin. The only vague doubt here after election night was which of the Labor newcomers would win the party’s second seat, and preferences have confirmed that it will be Meg Brown, as always seemed likely. The result is duly three Liberal (former Senator Eric Abetz, Jacquie Petrusma making a comeback, and incumbent Nic Street) two Labor (Dean Winter and Meg Brown), one Greens (Rosalie Woodruff) and one independent (former Labor leader David O’Byrne).

Tasmanian election and Dunstan by-election late counting

Progressive updates on counting from the Tasmanian state election and the South Australian by-election for Dunstan.

Click here for full display of Tasmanian results.
Click here for full display of Dunstan by-election results.


With some fairly solid updates to the count today, the most likely outcome in Tasmania looks to be Liberal 15, Labor 10, Greens five, Jacqui Lambie Network three and independents two, although Labor might take extra seats at the expense of the Greens in Clark and JLN in Lyons. Kevin Bonham also notes “complicated if seemingly unlikely scenarios” in Braddon involving the Liberals dropping a seat to the Greens or (less likely) independent Craig Garland, which would make life particularly interesting. The door remains bolted in Dunstan, the latest batch of declaration votes breaking only 321-281 in favour of the Liberals, leaving Labor 347 votes ahead with next to nothing still to come.


Labor’s win in Dunstan is now beyond doubt, the latest batch of declaration votes having broken 898-878 their way.


The links above will continue to offer latest results that I will update off the data feed a couple of times a day, such that they may lag a little behind the electoral commissions and the ABC. I tend not to follow late counting in Tasmania too closely, as the big picture is generally clear enough by Monday and the questions that need answering are down to preference distributions that won’t be conducted until next week. Excellent commentary is available from Ben Raue and Kevin Bonham.

The Liberals continue to cling on to a vague hope in Dunstan, although the latest from The Advertiser is that “Liberal hopes for a miracle win are fading”. The Liberal win probability on my results page was calculated at 1% once I had revised the estimate of outstanding votes on Saturday night, perked up to a little bit over 10% when the first batch of declaration votes have added, and fell back to 6% with the addition of the second.

The situation is rendered a little opaque by the fact that “declaration votes” bundles together postals, pre-polls and provisionals, which would be reported separately in other states. The first of the two batches broke 1404-1063 (I don’t have the exact figures but that would be a close estimate) to the Liberals, giving them 57% where Antony Green and myself had separately calculated they would need 56%. However, the second batch went 2039-1724, or only 54.2% to Liberal.

That leaves only about 1500 to come, although a report in The Advertiser speaks of scrutineers noting “at least 600 extra votes than Electoral Commission records”. Going off the former figure, the Liberals will need about 62% to close a gap that now sits at 9688-9321. An extra 600 votes would bring it to a bit below 59%.

Tasmanian election and Dunstan by-election live

Live coverage of the count for the Tasmanian state election and the South Australian state by-election for Dunstan.

Click here for full display of Tasmanian results.
Click here for full display of Dunstan by-election results.

End of Saturday night

Labor leads by 6852 to 5875 in Dunstan, with upwards of 7500 votes to come — the Liberals will need about 56.5% of these to overhaul the Labor lead, the chance of which my system puts at 1%.

In Tasmania, contrary to the general assumption of a Liberal minority government, there are still live scenarios where Labor and the Greens get to sixteen with a natural ally in David O’Byrne making it seventeen, making the magic eighteen achievable through a deal with either independent Kristie Johnston or the Jacqui Lambie Network. But perhaps the most likely scenario is that the Liberals get to fifteen and the JLN gets to three, with the latter naturally gravitating to the option with the least moving parts in which the biggest party forms government. My read of the situation is that there is a bedrock thirteen seats for Liberal, ten for Labor, four for the Greens, two for the Jacqui Lambie Network and two independent, to which can be added a likely fourteenth Liberal and a third JLN. In greater doubt are two seats in Franklin, to go between Liberal, ex-Labor independent David O’Byrne and the Greens, and a seat in Clark that could go to Labor or the Greens.

Bass. Despite dropping 21.5% from a Peter Gutwein-fuelled 60.0% in 2021, the Liberals have clearly won three quotas with two for Labor and one for the Greens. Beyond that, the Jacqui Lambie Network has 0.63 quotas, though postals may reduce this, while I’m projecting a Labor surplus of 0.34 above their two quotas. That would seem promising with respect to Rebekah Pentland, the strongest performing JLN candidate. Michael Ferguson and newcomer Rob Fairs are clearly elected of the Liberals — the third incumbent, Simon Wood, holds only the slenderest of leads over controversial colleague Julie Sladden. The two Labor incumbents, Michelle O’Byrne and Janie Finlay, are both returned, and the Greens member will be Cecily Rosol.

Braddon. Other than the JLN gouging 11% out of the Liberals, this was a similar result to 2021. There is no doubt that the Liberals have won three seats, returning incumbents Jeremy Rockliff, Felix Ellis and Roger Jaensch; Labor has won two, returning incumbents Anita Dow and Shane Broad; and the Jacqui Lambie Network has won one, which could be either be Miriam Beswick or James Redgrave. To that the Liberals seem likely to win a fourth seat with a 0.69 quota surplus, barring some impressive preference-gathering from independent Craig Garland on 0.40 quotas or a late-count surprise for the Greens on 0.52.

Clark. The only division without the JLN running, the 4.4% drop in the Liberal vote is perhaps pointing to how the election might have looked in their absence. Also a bright spot for Labor in that their primary vote was up 9.7%, with the independent vote down despite a seemingly strong selection of contenders. The Liberals have a clear two quotas, ensuring re-election for Simon Behrakis and Madeleine Ogilvie, as does Labor, with Ella Haddad re-elected and Josh Willie moving successfully from the upper house, while Vica Bayley of the Greens has been re-elected. The contestants for the two final seats are independent incumbent Kristie Johnston, with 0.64 quotas; the Greens, with a surplus of 0.57 putting former Hobart Lord Mayor Helen Burnet in contention; and Labor, whose surplus of 0.54 gives newcomer Stuart Benson a chance. Johnston will presumably coast home as around 10% for various other independents are distributed, leaving the Greens and Labor vying for the last seat.

Franklin. Labor can also take something out of the result in the other Hobart electorate: the 6.2% drop in their vote doesn’t look so bad when David O’Byrne’s 9.0% is taken into account, and the 8.0% Liberal vote exceeded the JLN’s 4.9%. Eric Abetz and Jacquie Petrusma were closely matched on the Liberal ticket, and both will be elected; Dean Winter is returned for Labor and will likely be joined by Meg Brown; and Rosalie Woodruff was re-elected for the Greens with a quota in her own right. In the race for the last two seats, O’Byrne has 0.72 quotas, and I’m projecting the Liberals to have a 0.74 surplus over their second quota (keeping incumbent Nic Street in contention) and the Greens to have 0.57 over their first (Jade Darko being the leader out of the party’s minor candidates), with preferences likely to favour the Greens.

Lyons. The Liberal vote fell 13.5% here, in part because of John Tucker unproductively draining 3.3%. They nonetheless have a clear three quotas, re-electing Guy Barnett and Mark Shelton and facilitating Jane Howlett’s move from the upper house, while Rebecca White and Jen Butler are re-elected for Labor. For the remaining two seats, the Greens have 0.84 quotas, the Jacqui Lambie Network has 0.67, and Labor has 0.64 over the second quota. Preferences will presumably be unfavourable for Labor, so the situation is encouraging for Tabatha Badger of the Greens and one of two closely matched JLN candidates, Andrew Jenner and Troy Pfitzner.

Election night

9.22pm. I now have a bug-free Dunstan page — all two-candidate preferred numbers are in and it’s calling it for Labor.

9.13pm. Labor’s position in Tasmania, while not great, has looked less bad as the evening has progressed — I now have them holding steady on the primary vote, with the Liberals down by double-digits. The JLN hasn’t matched the polling, but it looks well placed in the three non-Hobart divisions.

9.01pm. Dunstan is looking a bit less dramatic with the latest update, which cuts my projection of the Labor swing from 7% to 3%. I believe my system isn’t making a probability determination because it isn’t sure the Greens won’t make the final count, but I suggest it should be. All the booths are in on the primary vote — the TCP booth results don’t seem to be firing in my results system, so my read is based on preference estimates, which are likely to be pretty accurate.

8.57pm. I’ve found the error that was causing my system to read a Liberal-Greens result in Dunstan. Now it’s pointing to an emphatic win for Labor, erasing the 0.5% Liberal margin with a 7% swing. The Greens are up 8.7% on my reckoning and having a good night in Tasmania, seemingly on track for two seats apiece in Clark and Franklin and one each in Bass and Lyons, while striking out in Braddon.

8.51pm. Franklin also looks three Liberal (Eric Abetz, Jacquie Petrusma and Nic Street, with incumbent Dan Young squeezed out), two Labor (Meg Brown likely joining Dean Winter), two Greens (Rosalie Woodruff plus a lottery for second) and one independent, the independent in this case being David O’Byrne.

8.47pm. Clark looks three apiece for Labor, Liberal and the Greens plus with incumbent Kristie Johnston returned, and none of the other independents in contention unless preferences behave in a manner I’m not anticipating.

8.43pm. Braddon looking like three Liberal, two Labor and one JLN, with the last going to either independent Craig Garland or a fourth Liberal. The three Liberal incumbents and two Labor incumbents are returned.

8.40pm. So then, some overdue commentary on what we’re seeing in Tasmania, starting with Bass. Three Liberal, two Labor, one Greens, one in doubt. Rob Fairs a clear second elected Liberal after Michael Ferguson, open race for the third. Labor’s two seats will stay with the incumbents. Cecily Rosol elected for the Greens. Presumably JLN to take the third, which candidate is unclear.

8.34pm. Continuing to bash away at technical issues, but it looks like a boilover in Dunstan. My projections are seemingly not to be relied upon in that they are pointing to a Liberal-Greens contest, but it seems what we’re actually looking at is a surge to the Greens, a drop in the Liberals and a win for Labor.

8.05pm. My Dunstan display at least seems to be going okay — looking like a big vote for the Greens. My projected TCP has the Liberals ahead, but it’s a bit speculative at this stage.

7.55pm. I’ve been trying and failing to fix an issue that is making the parties in the booth results table appear in the wrong order.

7.35pm The big swing against the Liberals in Bass looks to be extending to Launceston. Perhaps some of this reflects the loss of Peter Gutwein’s vote.

7.31pm. The booth results maps you can find on my Tasmanian election results pages are a good way of discerning regional patterns, and it doesn’t seem the booths around Burnie are doing anything special for the JLN. The main story in Braddon remains that Labor is down more than Liberal.

7.28pm. There are 11 booths and 3.7% of the enrolled vote in from Bass, and it suggests the Liberals have taken a big hit with the JLN in double figures. However, almost all of this is outside Launceston — there the JLN vote may be lower and less damaging to the Liberals as a result. Lara Alexander making little impression so far.

7.23pm. Early numbers are a bit unspectacular for the JLN in its presumed stronghold of Braddon, but it can’t be stressed enough that results will be heavily regionalised here and in Lyons — Burnie booths may bring them up. Similarly, it may be too early to read reach conclusions from John Tucker being outpolled by Shooters in Lyons.

7.18pm. Still a bit busy with bug-squashing, but both major parties looking well down in Lyons, Labor doing badly in Braddon, first numbers (very small in this case) in Franklin consistent with the trend except that the Jacqui Lambie Network is as expected weaker here.

7.08pm. So far, Tasmania looks consistent with the polls in that the Jacqui Lambie Network is on about 10% in the non-Hobart seats which has come at the expense of the Liberals — except in Lyons, where it’s come at the expense of Labor. A few more booths might establish if the latter is an early count anomaly.

7.01pm. I’ve ironed out my Lyons bug, and I believe the Dunstan feed is starting to work.

6.55pm. Not sure why the ABC has numbers for Lyons and I don’t. I do have numbers for Bass and Braddon though, which are obviously from very small rural booths.

6.45pm. For reasons I’m unlikely to be able to solve, my Tasmanian pages are sometimes loading properly but sometimes not, either failing to load the map or falling over altogether. So you will likely need to hit refresh a fair bit to follow them properly. So far I’m unable to upload the feed for Dunstan at all, but that may be because it isn’t live yet.

6.30pm. Polls have closed for South Australia’s Dunstan by-election, which on reflection I think would be best dealt with on the same post as this one.

6pm. Welcome to the Poll Bludger’s live coverage of the Tasmanian state election count. Polls are now closed and we should be getting the first results from small rural booths fairly shortly. Through the link above you will find live updated results throughout the night and beyond, inclusive of an effort to project party vote shares in each of the five divisions through booth-matched swings. Also note that coverage of South Australia’s Dunstan by-election will commence when polls close there in half an hour.

Tasmanian election minus one day

On the eve of the Tasmanian election, another poll suggesting the Liberals will emerge as comfortably the biggest party in a hung parliament.

On the eve of the Tasmanian state election, the print edition of The Mercury (no report online that I can see) reports polling conducted a fortnight ago for an undisclosed private client by Freshwater Strategy points to a seats result of Liberal 15, Labor nine, Greens four, Jacqui Lambie Network three and independents four. The poll reached 800 respondents in each of the five electorates, with the report relating results in Lyons of Liberal 38%, Labor 23%, Greens 13% and JLN and independents 11% each; in Bass of Liberal 40%, Labor 26%, Greens 10% and JLN 10%; in Braddon of Liberal 49%, Labor 15%, JLN 13% and independents 10%; in Clark of Liberal 26%, Labor 21%, Greens 20% and independents 28%; and in Franklin of Liberal 33%, Labor 27%, Greens 13% and independents 17%. The independent results would seem to bode well for John Tucker in Lyons and David O’Byrne in Franklin, and for two independents to be elected in Clark inclusive of incumbent Kristie Johnston.

For a good deal more on Tasmanian state election polling, see Kevin Bonham. I am presently in my usual election eve scramble to get my live results facility in place, which if all goes well will offer results by party down to booth level (which in 2021 at least were unique to this site) in both tabular and mapped form.

Tasmanian election minus eight days

Another poll from Tasmania suggesting the Liberals are set to retain government without recovering their majority.

With just over a week to go, the only new item of polling to emerge for the Tasmanian state election over the past week has been a uComms poll for the Australia Institute. The results are distinctly poor for Labor, who are credited with just 23.0% of the vote (compared with 28.2% in 2021) and broadly in line with other polling in having the Liberals on 37.1% (48.7%). The Greens are 13.7% (12.4%), with the major parties’ losses mostly absorbed by the Jacqui Lambie Network (who are only running in four of the five divisions) on 8.5%, a generic independent category on 12.8% and “others” on 5.0%. The poll was conducted early last week, on Monday and Tuesday, from a sample of 1174.

For a good deal more on the Tasmanian election, you can listen below to a discussion earliest this week between myself and Ben Raue of The Tally Room on the latter’s podcast. Notably with respect to the poll numbers just described, subjects canvassed include the tendency for generic independent categories to catch voters who drift back to the established parties upon discovering that none of the specific independents in their electorates catch their interest.

Tasmanian election minus three weeks

The closure of nominations reveals a bigger field of candidates chasing a bigger number of seats, including a proliferation of independents.

The closure of nominations last Thursday revealed 167 candidates, up from 105 in 2021, likely reflecting the increased number of seats up for grabs. With that milestone (not to mention the Dunkley by-election) accounted for, I will now set to work on bringing my state election guide up to speed. The candidates are evenly spread across the five divisions, with 36 running in Lyons, 35 in Clark, 33 in Braddon, 32 in Bass and 31 in Franklin. There are two notable late-declaring independents in Lyons: Central Highlands mayor Loueen Triffitt, whose daughter Angela Triffitt is running in Clark, and Jenny Branch-Allen, a former Glenorchy alderman who polled a third of the vote as an independent in the Legislative Council seat of Derwent in 2009. Kingborough deputy mayor Clare Glade-Wright is among the independents in Franklin.

The Mercury reported on Thursday that a private poll with results broken out for each division suggested 14 seats for the Liberals, 11 for Labor, four for the Greens, two for the Jacqui Lambie Network and four independents. However, the only detail provided was that it was a phone poll with a sample of 4000 – nothing on the pollster, the client or the field work dates. For what it’s worth, results were given for Bass of Liberal 37%, Labor 28%, JLN 15% and Greens 13%; for Braddon of Liberal 45%, Labor 26%, JLN 15% and Greens 5%; for Clark of Liberal 26%, independents 25%, Labor 24% and Greens 16%; for Franklin of Liberal 33%, Labor 24%, Greens 20%, JLN 8% and independents 8%; and for Lyons of Labor 35%, Liberal 34%, Greens 12%, JLN 8% and independents 10%.

UPDATE (5/3/24): RedBridge Group has a poll conducted February 16 to 28 from a sample of 753 which has Liberal on 33%, Labor on 29%, Greens on 14%, the Jacqui Lambie Network on 10% and all others on 14%, which it uses to estimate a result of 12 seats for the Liberals, 11 for Labor, six for the Greens, three for JLN and three for others. The linked report features extensive breakdowns by region, gender, age, education and so on.

EMRS: Liberal 39, Labor 26, Greens 12, JLN 9 in Tasmania

A poll conducted shortly after the Tasmanian election was called finds the Jacqui Lambie Network well placed to win seats and the Liberals unlikely to recover their majority.

The quarterly Tasmanian state voting intention poll from EMRS has made a well-timed arrival, showing the Liberals steady since November on 39% (as compared with 48.7% at the 2021 election), Labor down three to 26% (28.2% at the last election) and the Greens steady at 12% (12.4% at the last election). The Jacqui Lambie Network was included as a response option for the first time and recorded 9%, a substantially more modest result than the 20% recorded over New Year by YouGov, though in this case the option was not provided for respondents in Clark, where the party is not fielding candidates. Its inclusion presumably has something to do with a three-point drop in independents to 14%.

Despite Labor going backwards on voting intention, Rebecca White is up three on preferred premier to 38%, with Jeremy Rockliff steady on 41%. The poll was conducted from February 15 to 21, starting a day after the election was called, by live interviewer phone polling from a sample of 1000.

Tasmanian election minus four weeks

New independent contenders continue to emerge ahead of the closure of nominations on Thursday.

The electoral roll closed last Wednesday with 80,126 on the roll in Bass, 83,875 in Braddon, 74,236 in Clark, 82,238 in Franklin and 87,722 in Lyons, an overall increase of 3.5% at the 2021 election. Looming milestones include the close of nominations on Thursday, the announcement of candidates on Friday and the opening of early voting next Monday.

Other news:

• Jeremy Rockliff has rejected the Australian Medical Association’s calls for the disendorsement of Bass candidate Julie Sladden, whom the ABC reports “repeatedly questioned the safety of COVID vaccines and described Tasmania as an ‘autocracy’ during the COVID period”. Sladden is a general practitioner and emergency medicine doctor who closed her practice in 2021 after refusing to be vaccinated.

• Two Hobart councillors, Louise Elliot and Ben Lohberger, will join a crowded field of independents in Clark, along with incumbent Kristie Johnston and former Liberal member Sue Hickey. Elliot ruled out running in the first week of the campaign, but now plans to run on landlords’ rights after the Liberals committed to policies including strengthening the right of tenants to own pets. Lohberger is a founding member of Save UTAS and says he will introduce legislation to stop it selling its Sandy Bay campus.

• Elsewhere, Latrobe mayor Peter Freshney will run as an independent in Braddon. Clarence mayor Brendan Blomeley, a Liberal factional conservative who ran unsuccessfully for Senate preselection and the party’s state presidency, floated the possibility of running as an independent in Franklin last week, but now says he will remain a member of the Liberal Party.

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